HOLYHEAD, Wales – Wandering under the gray clouds, Brian Anderson leans from the cab window of his truck to delay his journey through Britain’s second-largest ferry port earlier in the day to address his frustration in new paperwork She did it.
“It’s a nightmare,” Mr. Anderson told, explaining how he spent hours Brexit is waiting at a depot 250 miles away for necessary export documents. The delay meant he arrived in Holyhead, in Wales, too late for plans to take Dublin, and also for the next one.
To drive from Stena Adventurer to Dublin to drop off a consignment of parcels for Ireland’s mail service, after all, he said, “I’m almost 12 hours behind.”
Troubles stemming from the introduction of new rules governing Britain’s trade with the European Union and fears of red tape have led to huge predictions of gridlock at British ports on 1 January.
But, so far, the opposite has happened. In addition to hardy spirits like Mr. Anderson, truckers are stunning ports like Holyhead. They are horrified by the mountains of paperwork required for the journey that last month involved much less than driving one country in one ferry and locking it into another.
On Thursday, just a dozen other trucks were waiting for a huge but almost empty port-side parking lot similar to Mr. Anderson’s. Holyhead is operating at half its normal capacity and employees are placed on furloughs.
“It has to go through a lot of trouble,” Mr. Anderson said.
After months of uncertainty and tense negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally struck a trade deal with the European Union on Christmas Eve. So when Britain left Europe’s single market and customs union on 1 January, the chaos observed by French authorities during the closing of the dress-rehearsal border in December was avoided.
Yet the old system that allowed frictionless travel from European countries. Despite claims by its supporters that Brexit would ease bureaucracy, companies are required to create new documents such as health certificates for food and proofs for a wide variety of goods, along with millions of customs. Shipment of mixed goods – such as the parcel Mr. Anderson was carrying – could mean a pile of paperwork for drivers, all of which is being done.
Across Britain, the impact of the regulations surprised traders, establishing a chain reaction that has threatened some jobs and livelihoods.
Angered by costly delays, Scottish shellfish exporters blocked the parliament in London in protest. A truckload of chips destined for a supermarket in Northern Ireland was held for two days as the truck company sought to prove the origin of the potato, which was made according to a British lawmaker. And more than 600 truck drivers have been fined for breaking a rule designed to force them to require a permit to pass near Kent in Dover, Britain’s busiest port.
Under the new rules, truck drivers must log their consignments with officials before reaching ports. According to the port, purity grounds arrive relatively low without paperwork.
But this is because many are waiting for papers.
The new system has also raised questions about the future of one of Europe’s busiest trade routes between Ireland, which is part of the European Union and continental Europe.
The fastest route for trucks is usually via a ferry from Dublin to Holyhead, then on the coast of England east to Dover and then by a short ferry trip to Calais, France.
Prior to changing Brexit, travel through the “Land Bridge” was inexpensive and reliable, requiring almost no paperwork and allowing trucks to drop loads off the path.
But that route has been hampered by a large part of the bureaucracy, and many companies are opting for direct services between Ireland and France to remain within the European Union.
Whether this reflects early troubles or a fundamental shift is not clear, and changes have been welcomed in some quarters.
Some environmental campaigners expect the decline in trade to be permanent and reduce the number of trucks in the UK.
Port operators expected trade to decline as companies vacated stockpiles built in December when no trade deal was reached. The epidemic has also affected commerce and tourism, such as companies adjusting to fill Brexit-era forms.
But there are fears that the hit could have lasting effects at ports such as Holyhead.
“Very loudly the alarm bells are ringing,” said Rhône ap Ioworth, a Welsh Syd for Parliament Plaid Simru, a party advocating independence for Wales.
“It is clear that trade is largely down through the port,” he said. “I hope it’s a temporary event but I’m afraid that new patterns of trade are being established here and I’m worried about jobs. The smaller the traffic through the port, the less people will be required to work on the port Will be needed. “
Virginia Crosby, an MLA for Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party, said he expected Quoting the benefits of the “land-bridge” route through England, “that the fluctuations in the pattern of transport we are seeing at the moment will be short-term.”
Others are more skeptical, noting that eight weekend ferry services from Holyhead to Dublin have already been canceled, while work has been done on the ramp between Ireland and France.
“Given the choice, I think the direct route to traffic has changed a lot,” said William Caldbank, Port Operations Manager at Holderhead, which is operated by Stena Line, adding to it when he expected a lot of business to return If it does, it will not happen.
To add to the problems of Holyhead, it is losing trade to ports in Scotland and northern England that provide routes to Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, usually requiring less bureaucracy.
It now makes little sense to send goods destined for Northern Ireland via Holy Island and then by truck north through Ireland, a previously popular route.
And while companies should be better at completing paperwork, they face additional changes in the future. The British government is circumventing its post-Brexit rules.
But, from July, it will exert full control as Irish and French.
“We’re only in phase one of Brexit, we have another one coming in July,” Mr Caldbank said.
This will increase the burden for companies that are already facing complex regulations.
Andrew Kinsella, managing director of Gwyned Shipping, headquartered in Howehead, described how a consignment was caught in Ireland for seven hours, while officials questioned whether milk in cookies / chocolate chips caused it to be a dairy product Must be certified.
Holyhead “is a ghost town,” he said. “You don’t see a normal steady stream of vehicles every day; You can see a handful of trucks when the ferry arrives.
At Road King, a Holyhead truck stop, another driver, Rob Lucas, was still parked midnight at the spot where he arrived at the port at 6 am to wait for clearance to take the load.
She had no idea when a text message authorizing her to be carried would arrive, but she knew the delay had already ended her next day’s schedule.
“The only way I can explain is that there was no waiting for paperwork to say that everything went freely; But last Friday I was held in Kent for five hours.
“We’re all stranded in limbo – one of our lads was here for four days in January,” Mr. Lucas said. “It’s terrible, absolutely terrible,” he said, and “I can see it getting worse before it gets better.”